Keeping pace in the AFC West is turning into quite the arms race, and now it’s the Las Vegas Raiders’ turn to try and one-up the rest of the division.
The Raiders made a blockbuster move Thursday by acquiring All-Pro receiver Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers to highlight the second day of NFL free agency.
A person familiar with the move said the Raiders are sending the No. 22 overall pick in the April draft and additional compensation to the Packers to reunite Adams with his college quarterback, Derek Carr. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the deal hadn’t been announced.
NFL Network reported that Adams has agreed to a new five-year deal with the Raiders that will pay him $141.25 million in the richest deal ever for a wide receiver.
That easily overshadowed other moves Thursday involving receivers with Cole Beasley and Julio Jones looking for new teams, Allen Robinson and DJ Chark switching teams or even quarterback Baker Mayfield demanding to be traded, not happy the Browns tried to replace him with Deshaun Watson.
And oh yeah, everyone’s waiting to see what happens next with Watson despite his off-field legal issues and sitting out the 2021 season.
The Raiders, under new management, tried to match Denver’s trade for quarterback Russell Wilson and the Chargers’ acquisition of edge rusher Khalil Mack. Carr now has another offensive weapon and lots of history with Adams after they played two seasons together at Fresno State.
Robinson is a big winner, going from Chicago to the Rams and becoming teammates with Cooper Kupp and quarterback Matthew Stafford. He agreed to terms Thursday on a three-year contract as the latest big-name receiver to join the Rams and Los Angeles’ first outside free agent signed this month.
The deal with one of the NFL’s most dependable and veteran pass-catchers gives the Rams someone who had 2,397 yards and 13 touchdowns combined in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Robinson was limited by injuries to 12 games last season when he caught 38 passes for 410 yards.
The Buffalo Bills released Beasley, while the Tennessee Titans officially released a seven-time Pro Bowl receiver in Jones on Thursday.
Beasley had been given permission to seek a trade with one year left on his contract, but the Bills cut their top slot receiver to free up salary cap space a day after signing two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Von Miller to a six-year contract.
Chark said other teams wanted to give a long-term deal to the former Pro Bowl receiver who was limited to four games last season in Jacksonville by a broken ankle. He signed a $10 million deal for this season, saying he sees a good fit with the Lions desperately needing a deep threat.
A person familiar with the discussions says Mayfield asked the Browns trade him through his agent shortly after the team was told by Watson he wasn’t coming to Cleveland. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The Browns told Mayfield they aren’t trading him.
Dallas released right tackle La’el Collins in another cost-cutting move involving a starter on offense. Collins will be designated as a post-June 1 cut in a salary cap-saving move netting $10 million later this year.
Others released Thursday as post-June 1 designations were defensive tackle Fletcher Cox of Philadelphia and Cleveland tight end Austin Hooper. The Giants released veteran safety Logan Ryan after he started 30 of 31 games.
The Green Bay Packers signed De’Vondre Campbell to keep their All-Pro linebacker at home.
The New York Jets agreed with defensive end Jacob Martin on terms for a three-year deal worth up to $16.5 million, according to a person with direct knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Thursday because the team had not yet announced the signing.
The Jets signed cornerback D.J. Reed officially Thursday on a three-year deal. Reed says Seattle’s offer to keep him was disrespectful and he believes he’s worth more.
Safety Justin Reid signed his three-year, $31.5 million free-agent contract with Kansas City on Thursday, making official a deal that was reached earlier this week.
The Atlanta Falcons have re-signed two restricted free agents, offensive lineman Colby Gossett and defensive lineman Anthony Rush. The Falcons also have signed free-agent offensive lineman Elijah Wilkinson and cornerback Teez Tabor.